Back in January of 2015 at the Detroit Auto Show Hyundai made a splash with a cool truck concept that was somewhat like a modern El Camino. That concept was called the Santa Cruz. Fast-forward a year and at the Detroit auto show this year Hyundai USA head Dave Zuchowski stopped just short of confirming that the truck will go into production.
The mid-size truck market is booming again with Nissan, Toyota, Chevy, and GMC all offering mid-size options. Rumors are that the Ford Ranger may come back to the US as well. Hyundai is poised to jump into that market with its own five-seat dual-cab light-duty truck.
Zuchowski said that Hyundai is waiting for an announcement rather than approval. That indicates the truck is green lit and the next step will be the announcement of when production will begin. Serious truck fans might scoff at the Hyundai, it lacks the body on frame design that the heavier duty trucks from other makers offer.
Hyundai is expected to position the Santa Cruz as a lifestyle vehicle rather than a truck for work and heavy-duty use. However they position the Santa Cruz, it’s an attractive vehicle and it’s good to see the mid-size truck market heat up again. Hyundai plans to aim at CUV and SUV buyers and states up front that towing, payload, and ride height weren’t the focus for the vehicle.